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censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Old 07-26-14, 03:17 AM
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censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Hi
I grew up on a steady diet of syndicated Looney Tunes reruns.

I've only recently found out that many of these cartoons were cut for modern eyes.

What do people here think of this?
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Old 07-26-14, 08:37 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

The DVD releases show most of them uncut. They have introductions from celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg talking about their historical significance. I think most of the really bad ones just haven't been released at all.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:58 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

COAL BLACK AND DE SEBBEN DWARFS (1943) was never cut, because it was, in all likelihood, never shown on TV. I'm not suggesting it should have been, but it should be available for those who are curious to see it. Same with CLEAN PASTURES (1937), although it's far less egregious. I wonder how many of the cartoons with black stereotypes throughout the short ever got shown on TV at all, e.g. the two I just mentioned plus the Lantz cartoons, UNCLE TOM'S CABANA, SCRUB ME MAMA WITH A BOOGIE BEAT and VOODOO IN HARLEM. The only place I've ever seen them is at theaters, museums and film societies showing cartoon retrospectives, although I think SCRUB ME MAMA is available on one of the Walter Lantz DVD collections. I remember seeing lots of cartoons with stereotyped cannibals on TV as a child, but I don't recall any of the ones I listed above being shown.

The cut ones tend to have one racist gag that gets cut or a blackface number (usually quite innocuous) or a depiction of suicide. (e.g. The "frog croaking" gag in one of the Tex Avery travelogue shorts, or the one that ends with the pet who's just seen something really crazy and goes, "Now I've seen everything" and then shoots himself.)

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Old 07-26-14, 09:31 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

^^ They are out there in YouTube land
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Old 07-27-14, 04:44 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

... In horrible quality. Tenth-generation, triply compressed shit.
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Old 07-28-14, 03:04 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

I don't follow developments closely, but agree with the previous poster that official, high-quality releases of classic cartoons (vs. PD releases that are usually thrown together) are generally released intact. If a cartoon is so offensive that the disclaimer isn't enough, it likely hasn't been released at all. Check out the plight of WB's Censored Eleven, which may one day still see the light of day.

But as the home video market winds down and film people at the studios are no longer necessarily calling the shots, censorship is just one issue. OAR is being violated, to appease buyers who apparently now expect everything to be in widescreen. So sad.
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Old 08-02-14, 12:24 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

So the fight used to be to make sure everything was shown in its proper widescreen format. Now the fight it to make sure things shot in fullscreen remain that way?

Is this an episode of "The Twilight Zone"?
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Old 08-06-14, 08:23 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

The XXI century - all right!
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Old 08-06-14, 08:51 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

I love Looney Tunes but Loventino says it all right!
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Old 08-06-14, 09:01 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by UAIOE View Post
So the fight used to be to make sure everything was shown in its proper widescreen format. Now the fight it to make sure things shot in fullscreen remain that way?

Is this an episode of "The Twilight Zone"?
Things weren't shot in "full screen" -- the Academy ratio was 1.37:1, so if something was released theatrically in that ratio, then it needs to stay that way. It was the ratio all Hollywood films shot on 35mm used form 1932 to 1952. Beginning in 1953, theaters started matting their non-anamorphic films with varying wider ratios.

The fight wasn't for "widescreen." The fight was for OAR -- the way the film was originally exhibited.
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Old 08-06-14, 09:36 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

I'd be satisfied if they put out a special edition of the cartoons that make people faint. Then the people that can't handle the past don't have to worry about it.

I may seem jaded towards these people but people these days get offended over the tiniest things. We had an event and the posters had a background color of red. We got calls saying the red was making them feel angry and uncomfortable. I can see how a cartoon with a Confederate flag could make this same person literally poop themselves before fainting.
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Old 08-06-14, 12:38 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by The Man with the Golden Doujinshi View Post
I'd be satisfied if they put out a special edition of the cartoons that make people faint. Then the people that can't handle the past don't have to worry about it.

I may seem jaded towards these people but people these days get offended over the tiniest things. We had an event and the posters had a background color of red. We got calls saying the red was making them feel angry and uncomfortable. I can see how a cartoon with a Confederate flag could make this same person literally poop themselves before fainting.
I'm with you. IMHO, the overly PC environment today is far worse than anything from history. People have forgotten how to take a *joke*. I grew up with that stuff and don't recall *anyone* ever being offended *unless they were looking to be offended from the start*! Even if some of that material *is* truly offensive, rewriting history by getting all PC and editing content is *not* the way to learn. You must embrace it, look at it in context, and come away with a new perspective on and appreciation of the past. Stereotypes exist for a *reason* and there are stereotypes for just about everything and every group. I saw most of the "offensive" cartoons on TV as a kid and we thought nothing about them. I later learned many of those "offensive" cartoons were originally applauded by the very groups who later found them offensive.

To quote Bob Clampett, who produced Coal Black...
In 1942, during the height of anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II, I was approached in Hollywood by the cast of an all-black musical off-broadway production called Jump For Joy while they were doing some special performances in Los Angeles. They asked me why there weren't any Warner's cartoons with black characters and I didn't have any good answer for that question. So we sat down together and came up with a parody of Disney's "Snow White" and "Coal Black" was the result. They did all the voices for that cartoon, even though Mel Blanc's contract with Warners gave him sole voice credit for all Warners cartoons by then. There was nothing racist or disrespectful toward blacks intended in that film at all, nor in Tin Pan Alley Cats which is just a parody of jazz piano great Fats Waller, who was always hamming into the camera during his musical films. Everybody, including blacks had a good time when these cartoons first came out. All the controversy about these two cartoons has developed in later years merely because of changing attitudes toward black civil rights that have happened since then.
The story is pretty much the same for the rest of the "offensive" cartoons.

And don't get me started on the do-gooder parent groups who caused the banning and editing of other classic cartoons (as well as The Three Stooges and Little Rascals/Our Gang shorts) because of "violence" and other "inappropriate" behavior.
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Old 08-06-14, 12:44 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
And don't get me started on the do-gooder parent groups who caused the banning and editing of other classic cartoons (as well as The Three Stooges and Little Rascals/Our Gang shorts) because of "violence" and other "inappropriate" behavior.
I only saw They Stooge to Conga once on the Family Channel, in a heavily edited form, back in the late 90s. I had never seen The Yoke's on Me on TV at all, even going back to the 80s when they had their resurgence in popularity. It wasn't until the Missing 60 went back in to the syndication package and AMC showed it a few years ago that I actually viewed it on a television station.

The first time I had ever seen it was on DVD.
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Old 08-06-14, 08:58 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Not a Loony Tune, but that Popeye where he shoots and murders Shorty at the end (with the caption "THE BITTER END") shocked the shit outta me when I first saw it. I thought I was dreaming.

HAPPY BIRTHDAZE was the episode. Skip to 7:10:

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Old 08-06-14, 09:04 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

I remember seeing that Popeye short somewhere when I was a kid (maybe on 16mm?), but I don't remember that ending. Holy shit.
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Old 08-06-14, 09:08 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

^I believe Cartoon Network used to broadcast it without the final 45 seconds. Holy shit is right!
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Old 08-07-14, 12:55 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by thetao View Post
I don't follow developments closely, but agree with the previous poster that official, high-quality releases of classic cartoons (vs. PD releases that are usually thrown together) are generally released intact. If a cartoon is so offensive that the disclaimer isn't enough, it likely hasn't been released at all. Check out the plight of WB's Censored Eleven, which may one day still see the light of day.
Interesting stuff has come out in the recent past about Warner's release policies of questionable historical material. Apparently there is a single executive at WB holding up all of the racially-oriented offensive material from seeing a release. This person has deemed content of that type too offensive to be permitted on home video. As long the person remains in their position of power, I doubt you'll ever get questionable material from WB.
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Old 08-07-14, 08:28 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Interesting stuff has come out in the recent past about Warner's release policies of questionable historical material. Apparently there is a single executive at WB holding up all of the racially-oriented offensive material from seeing a release. This person has deemed content of that type too offensive to be permitted on home video. As long the person remains in their position of power, I doubt you'll ever get questionable material from WB.
The Censored 11 have been restored and screened at different venues within the past few years. They were supposed to get a general retail release (not Warner Archive), but something must have happened for them to just sit on them since they paid good money for their preservation.
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Old 08-07-14, 08:35 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Mammy Two-Shoes is an American icon.
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Old 08-07-14, 09:29 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
Not a Loony Tune, but that Popeye where he shoots and murders Shorty at the end (with the caption "THE BITTER END") shocked the shit outta me when I first saw it. I thought I was dreaming.
Eh, people were always getting shot in cartoons when I was growing up and they didn't actually show Shorty dead. Honestly, I would have been happy if he shot Olive Oil and they showed it. Never understood the appeal.
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Old 08-07-14, 11:40 AM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by The Man with the Golden Doujinshi View Post
Eh, people were always getting shot in cartoons when I was growing up and they didn't actually show Shorty dead. Honestly, I would have been happy if he shot Olive Oil and they showed it. Never understood the appeal.
Yep. All you see is the muzzle flash.

The first time I saw the edited version of the Bugs Bunny short Hillbilly Hare I about came unglued! *ALL* the scenes of the hillbillies shooting each other were gone! The continuity of the short, as well as many jokes, was ruined! This was one they should have just banned rather than edit because of all the shooting. Of course this was on network TV and I'd grown up watching *all* the Looney Tunes shorts unedited on local TV. My kids never knew anything was wrong until I pointed it out.

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Old 08-07-14, 01:39 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by My Other Self View Post
The Censored 11 have been restored and screened at different venues within the past few years. They were supposed to get a general retail release (not Warner Archive), but something must have happened for them to just sit on them since they paid good money for their preservation.
The executive I mentioned is the person blocking their home video release, point blank. There is no need for idle speculation. They were remastered without consideration for release, that was a decision by a different department. This extends to all of their insensitive cartoons, not just these 11 shorts.
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Old 08-07-14, 01:55 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
The executive I mentioned is the person blocking their home video release, point blank. There is no need for idle speculation. They were remastered without consideration for release, that was a decision by a different department. This extends to all of their insensitive cartoons, not just these 11 shorts.
Do you have a source for this executive business? Jerry Beck himself said they were getting a release, and he's more plugged in than anyone.
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Old 08-07-14, 02:01 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by My Other Self View Post
Do you have a source for this executive business? Jerry Beck himself said they were getting a release, and he's more plugged in than anyone.
I can't name names.
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Old 08-07-14, 02:53 PM
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Re: censored Looney Tunes? (blackface, Confederate flags, etc.)

Originally Posted by The Man with the Golden Doujinshi View Post
Eh, people were always getting shot in cartoons when I was growing up and they didn't actually show Shorty dead.
Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
Yep. All you see is the muzzle flash..
To be fair, this is quite different from when Daffy Duck gets shot in the face by Elmer Fudd and his beak is comically on the other side of his head, or when Tom gets shot in the face by a shotgun-wielding Jerry and he instantly turns into a Steppen Fetchit clone.

This was a bit darker than that. Shorty started the cartoon almost committing suicide by gunshot to the head. Cut to the end, with the two of them stuck in that furnace, Shorty having ruined Popeye's birthday, and is annoyingly singing "Happy Birthday To My Pal" in the dark... then a sudden GUNSHOT and absolute silence... and then the "The Bitter End" caption over foreboding, minor key orchestrations. I'm not saying its "Serbian Film" levels of depravity, but holy fuck, to an impressionable kid, that was just WRONG, man!
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